Al-Attabi joined the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures after receiving his PhD in comparative literature from Brown University. In addition to directing the Arabic program at Kenyon, he teaches language and literature classes.

Al-Attabi is a scholar of modern Arabic literature. His research spans the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the Arab Middle East, focusing on the intersection of politics and literary and cultural production. He is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled “Commitment as Traveling Theory: Politics in Modern Arabic Literature,” which studies the dialectical relationship between aesthetics and politics in the Arabic literary discourse during the second half of the twentieth century. In addition, Al-Attabi is working on editing and translating into English a volume of colloquial Iraqi poetry.

Al-Attabi has translated three books into Arabic. His translation of George Yule’s textbook Pragmatics (Oxford University Press, 1996) appeared in 2010, and his forthcoming co-translation of A Companion to Translation Studies (Multilingual Matters, 2007) is currently in press. 

Al-Attabi is also a soccer historian, and he wrote two books (in Arabic) on soccer. His authoritative Buṭūlāt Kaʾs al-ʿĀlam bi-Kurat al-Qadam: al-Taʾrīkh al-Kāmil (World Cup: The Complete History) appeared in 2007 (second updated edition forthcoming in 2019).

Areas of Expertise

Modern Arabic literature; contemporary Iraqi literature; world literature; nationalism and literature; literary and cultural theory; and translation studies.

Education

2017 — Doctor of Philosophy from Brown University

2014 — Master of Arts from Brown University

2006 — Master of Arts from al-Mustansiriyya Univ, Irq

Courses Recently Taught

This is a yearlong course for students who are beginning the study of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The main objective of the course is to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in MSA. Part of the first semester concentrates on the Arabic alphabetic writing system, pronunciation, basic conversation and an introduction to Arabic grammar. Classwork includes dictation, group conversations, listening exercises and activities focused on developing written skills. Online audio and visual materials are used to reinforce communication and vocabulary building, to expose students to authentic language resources and to help students practice inside and outside of the class. Instruction will include an introduction to the customs and cultures of the Arabic-speaking world. Students enrolled in this course will be automatically added to ARBC 102Y for the spring semester. No prerequisite. Offered every fall semester.

This is a continuation of the introduction to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Objectives of the course continue to be the development of skills in writing, reading, listening and speaking. There is increased emphasis on vocabulary and grammar. Classwork includes oral participation (speaking in class, both alone and in groups), active writing activities and exercises in listening and reading comprehension. Students are expected to use online and extracurricular resources (provided by the instructor) to improve their skills and complete assignments. Some elements of Arabic dialect will be introduced, but the focus will be on MSA. By the end of the second semester, students will understand basic grammatical concepts and communicate at a novice-high level. Prerequisite: ARBC 101Y or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered every spring semester.

This is a continuation of the introduction to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). Objectives of the course continue to be the development of skills in writing, reading, listening and speaking. There is increased emphasis on vocabulary and grammar. Classwork includes oral participation (speaking in class, both alone and in groups), active writing activities and exercises in listening and reading comprehension. Students are expected to use online and extracurricular resources (provided by the instructor) to improve their skills and complete assignments. Some elements of Arabic dialect will be introduced, but the focus will be on MSA. By the end of the second semester, students will understand basic grammatical concepts and communicate at a novice-high level. Prerequisite: ARBC 101Y or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered every spring semester.

The main objective of the course is to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at the intermediate-novice level. Classwork includes reading comprehension activities, vocabulary building activities, giving presentations in Arabic, listening to authentic texts and guided class discussion in the target language. Students will conduct a research project using MSA as the medium for research and presentation. Students are expected to use online and extracurricular resources (some provided by the instructor) to help improve their skills and complete assignments outside of class. Prerequisite: ARBC 102Y or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered every fall semester.

The main objective of the course is to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at the intermediate level. Classwork includes reading authentic texts, vocabulary building, presenting research in Arabic, listening to authentic media (such as news, films and television programs) and class discussion in the target language. Students are expected to use online and extracurricular resources to improve their skills and complete assignments outside of class. By the end of Intermediate Arabic II, students will be able to communicate at the intermediate level and will have the ability to recognize different genres of literature, read newspapers with the use of a dictionary and comprehend basic information from media resources without the use of a dictionary. Prerequisite: ARBC 201 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered every spring semester.

This course continues language study from advanced-intermediate level Arabic through advanced levels. The main objective of the course is to develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) at the advanced-intermediate to advanced level. Classwork includes reading authentic texts, building vocabulary, presenting research in Arabic, listening to authentic media (such as news, films and television programs) and class discussion in the target language. Students will conduct research using authentic Arabic texts and online materials. There also will be opportunities to study dialect in an informal setting. Students are expected to use online and extracurricular resources to help improve their skills and complete assignments outside of class. By the end of Advanced Arabic, students will be able to communicate at the advanced level as well as to recognize different genres of literature, read newspapers with the use of a dictionary, and comprehend basic information from media resources without the use of a dictionary. Prerequisite: ARBC 202 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered every fall semester.

This course offers an opportunity to study on an individual basis an area of special interest -- literary, cultural or linguistic -- under the regular supervision of a faculty member. It is offered primarily to candidates for honors, to majors and, under special circumstances, to potential majors and minors. Individual study is intended to supplement, not to take place of, regular courses in the curriculum of each language program. Staff limitations restrict this offering to a very few students. To enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the MLL department willing to direct the project and in consultation with them, write up a one page proposal for the IS which must be approved by the department chair before the individual study can go forward. The proposal should specify the schedule of reading and/or writing assignments and the schedule of meeting periods. The amount of work in an IS should approximate that required on average in regular courses of corresponding levels. It is suggested that students begin their planning of an IS well in advance, so that they can devise a proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar's deadline. Typically, an IS will earn the student 0.25 or 0.50 units of credit. At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet with the instructor one hour per week. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the registrar’s deadline.